SBD/Issue 82/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Let Me Be Frank: Stronach Brings His 7 Tracks Back To NTRA

Magna Entertainment and the NTRA released a joint statement yesterday indicating they have "reached an agreement" that will bring Magna's seven racetracks, which defected three months ago, back into the organization, according to Matt Hegarty of the DAILY RACING FORM. Under the agreement, the NTRA "has committed to changing the way it selects its directors, and promises to work to free racetracks" from state and federal regulations. As part of the modifications, Magna Chair Frank Stronach will take a seat on the BOD as a permanent rep of Magna. BOD seats will also be reserved for Churchill Downs and the NYRA. Reps of four other tracks will be elected regionally (DRF, 1/18). The agreement will see the seven tracks renew their NTRA memberships for '01 and '02, with an "opt-out clause" at the end of '02. The changes to the BOD structure "must still be approved" by the NTRA BOD (THOROUGHBRED TIMES, 1/18). The decision by Stronach "will add at least" $1M to the NTRA's operating budget in '01. As part of the agreement for Magna to rejoin, the NTRA announced it would revise its winter-spring TV schedule on ESPN and ESPN2 to include a "full complement" of races from Magna-owned tracks, including Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park (bloodhorse.com, 1/17).

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